CELTIC MUSIC

*Music list subject to change

 

2017 Music Schedule

Mary MacGillivray Trio

 

This trio is led by Mary MacGillvray, daughter of Gold Medal winning ex-Battlefield Band bagpiper Duncan MacGillivray, comes from a distinguished family of Scottish musicians. Mary has been performing professionally and teaching fiddle in Scotland since 2010, and has performed in Celtic music festivals in the U.S., Australia, Ireland, France, and Brazil. In Scotland Ms. MacGillivray performs in a trio with her father Duncan MacGillivray and her older brother Iain MacGillivray a fiddler, bagpiper, and up-and-coming original music artist and composer. She has played for Highland Dance and Scottish Ceilidh dancing throughout Scotland, notably Glenmorangie Cadboll House, Skibo Castle, Aldourie Castle, Corrour Lodge, Falkland Palace and Inverlochy Castle. Mary MacGillivray is a talented teacher who has been teaching fiddle to students of all ages and abilities since 2010. She constructed and performed presentations sharing Scottish culture through traditional music and Highland Dance for World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain in 2010 and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2013. Mary has also been an assistant teacher at Alasdair Fraser’s fiddle workshop for adults at Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Scotland.

Mary is joined in this trio by Susan Spencer and James Ofsthun. Susan is a guitarist and vocalist who was nominated for the Newfoundland Hall of Honour award for lifetime achievement for her contributions to traditional Newfoundland folk music. As a member of the group Willowgreen Ms. Spencer performed and recorded traditional, contemporary, and original music from Ireland, Newfoundland, and Scotland.
James is a drummer and vocalist who has worked in a number of Celtic music groups including Willowgreen, McInnis’ Kitchen and Double Fiddles, performing fiddle-based music of Cape Breton, Scotland and Ireland.

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Ed Willett

 

Ed Willett is a cellist, guitarist, composer, arranger, and vocalist. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in performance from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles where he studied with cellist Eleanor Schoenfeld. While studying in Los Angeles Ed participated in the world renowned Piatigorsky master class for cellists. Ed worked in Los Angeles as a studio musician participating in hundreds of recording sessions and in 1986 he co-founded the “Chance” quartet which lead to a record deal with “Rough Rider” records, a feature on the CBS hit TV show “Northern Exposure”, countless Low Angeles performances and the first album release, “Something Ventured”. In 1993 Ed relocated to Wisconsin and from 1994-2011 he was a member of the “Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua”, a festival house band and touring ensemble. He eventually became Music Director and co-Artistic Director for the organization. In 2011 he began a two-year stint of touring worldwide with pop/rock icon Rickie Lee Jones. Mr. Willett’s Recent Celtic performances have included a performance on BBC Scotland and at Edinburgh’s Tradfest. In 2016 Ed recorded a CD of Celtic music and recently completed a 12-state U.S. tour with a program of original and traditional Celtic music combined with the writings of Scottish born naturalist, John Muir.

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Walking On Air

 

Walking On Air is a Celtic music group that formed in Minneapolis/St. Paul in the 1980’s. They performed all around the Upper Midwest including the Minnesota Irish Fair, the Minnesota Scottish Fair, the Milwaukee Irish Fest and regular appearances in St. Paul pubs which attracted an enthusiastic following. The group recorded two very well received albums. All the members of the group have continued to perform and after being separated for many years by careers, the band is reuniting for a week of performances in July culminating in their appearance at the Minnesota Scottish Fair.

The band specializes in vocal and instrumental music from Scotland and Ireland. Walking on Air is particularly well-known for three- and four-part vocal harmonies, notably on songs from Scotland. The band also excels in dance music from Celtic traditions, on an array of instruments which includes wooden flutes, concertinas, Scottish smallpipes, tin whistles, guitar, bouzouki and percussion.

Members of the band include Don Clark, Michele Delattre, Laura MacKenzie and Ross Sutter. Though the group has been separated, Don and Michele perform together regularly in the Celtic music scene in the San Francisco Bay area, and Laura and Ross have continued to play together in the Twin Cities area and across the country, including the Milwaukee Irish Fest and the Dublin Irish Fair in Ohio.

 
   

   

Dick Hensold and Patsy O’Brien

 

Dick Hensold and Patsy O’Brien perform traditional Celtic music with unique and innovative arrangements, accompanied by guitar and Northumbrian smallpipes (a quiet bagpipe from Northeast England), or various whistles. Their programs feature an impressive range of expression, from the jaunty and humorous to soulful, led by Patsy’s warm and multi-hued baritone voice, Dick’s variety of pipes and whistles, and the nimble instrumental virtuosity of both musicians. Dick Hensold is the leading Northumbrian smallpiper in North America, and for the past 20 years has performed and taught in England, Scotland, Japan, Canada, and across the United States. Based in St Paul, MN, he is a full-time musician, passionately presenting the traditional music of Scotland, Cape Breton Island, and Northumberland, as well as Nordic folk music, early music, and traditional Cambodian music. He is also an active composer, studio musician and theater musician, and his solo Northumbrian smallpipes CD Big Music for Northumbrian Smallpipes was released in 2007. In 2006 Dick Hensold received the highest honor awarded to independent artists in the upper Midwest region, the Bush Artist Fellowship, in the Traditional and Folk Arts category. Patsy O’Brien, from County Cork, is a fine traditional singer, and a superb guitarist for traditional music, but with an eclectic technique that allows forays into many different styles.  Patsy O’Brien has been a featured artist on NPR’s “All Songs Considered” and received an American Folk Alliance Award. 

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Seumas Gagne

 

Seumas Gagne plays Scottish, Irish, and Cape Breton music on the harp, and sings Scottish Gaelic songs. He has been playing the Celtic harp for more than thirty years, and also teaches both the Scottish Gaelic language and song repertoire. Combining harp and voice with personal stories of his Gaelic adventures, his performances include great music, humor, and wit, which you will long remember. 

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Gunn Slingers

 

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Neil Gunn grew up in Northeastern Scotland near Inverness. He learned to play the accordion at a young age and regularly played for dancing and ceilidhs all over Scotland until he moved to Minnesota five years ago. Soon after arriving in Minnesota he put together his Scottish band called the Gunn Slingers. They play for Scottish dances, festivals, Burns Night celebrations and other events all over the state, but primarily in the Twin Cities area.